SCARBOROUGH — The top-ranked Scarborough High girls’ soccer team easily justified its seeding Wednesday night, rolling to a 6-0 victory against Kennebunk in the Class A South championship game.

The Red Storm (16-0-1) will play Camden Hills (16-0-1) – the defending Class A champion – in the state final at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Hampden Academy.

Scarborough also beat Kennebunk 6-0 in the regular season, but the Rams returned several key players who missed that game with injuries. In the end, the Red Storm were able to put the title away with five second-half goals.

“We definitely thought they were going to come out harder (than the first game) and they did,” said Gaby Panagakos, the leading scorer for Scarborough this season. “We just ended up executing like we knew we could.”

Molly Murnane led Scarborough with three goals, and Panagakos had a goal and an assist. Leah Dickman and Josie Couture added late goals.

The Rams (12-4-1) reached the regional final for the first time.

“We were playing the 3-5-2 (formation) most of the season, but playing a 4-3-3 – what Scarborough has – with fast forwards is just a recipe for disaster,” Kennebunk Coach Shannon Cavanaugh said.

“It’s definitely frustrating to lose 6-0 again but it’s fuel for the fire.”

Adia Grogan of Kennebunk made six saves.Emily Royce had one stop for Scarborough.

In their first meeting in September, the Rams were missing midfielders Abby Lamontagne and Hallie Schwartzman – who leads the Rams in assists – as well as defenders Abby Lennon and Mia Banglmaier.

“We were a little nervous because we hadn’t seen those players before,” Murnane said. “At halftime we were talking about how we really had to want it.”

Panagakos opened the scoring on a breakaway with 31:59 left in the first half. She drove down the center of the field before meeting a defender who tried to clear the ball. But Panagakos ran through it and took a hard shot that sailed past Grogan into the bottom left corner of the net.

Kennebunk managed to hold Scarborough scoreless for the remainder of the half, but Murnane scored three straight goals after that to pull the game from Kennebunk’s reach.

“(We) started making the runs at the right time and were getting behind three or four (defenders) every 10 minutes,” Scarborough Coach Mike Farley said of his team’s second-half performance. “Then they scored a couple right in a row and they just started to come.”

With 30:54 left, Murnane rounded the left corner and slammed a shot just below the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Panagakos fed Murnane the ball with a long arched pass from midfield. Grogan charged the ball but Murnane kept it at her feet and scored on an open net with 29:35 remaining.

“When (Murnane and Panagakos) get going to goal, they’re pretty hard to stop,” Farley said.

“Once they get you going backwards, they get right by and hit some good shots.”

With 9:05 left, Murnane notched her third goal, scoring unassisted before Dickman and Couture added goals with 7:11 and 1:59 remaining.

Scarborough didn’t allow Kennebunk any solid chances to score aside from set plays.

In the first half, the Rams had three corner kicks, and Emily Archibald nearly put one away for a tying goal.

With 13 minutes left and the Red Storm leading by just a goal, Archibald headed a Schwartzman corner kick just over Scarborough’s crossbar.

“That’s what we want to try to do, limit the chances we give up,” Farley said.

“We gave up one too many set plays for me because they were getting chances on those, but for the most part, defensively we were solid.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or at:

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